Cafe celebrates successful first year

22:22, May 20 2014
Sarah and Dave Anderson
FAMILY BUSINESS: French Essence Café owners Sarah and Dave Anderson with their 8-week-old daughter Cleo in their popular Redwoodtown cafe.

A Marlborough couple are celebrating the first anniversary of their Redwoodtown cafe by extending their business hours - and their staff.

French Essence Café owners Sarah and Dave Anderson said the business was doing so well that they decided to meet the many requests from customers to open the cafe on weekends. The extra hours would mean the creation of about six new part-time positions.

The couple own and run three businesses together - the restaurant at Wither Hills, Essence Events and the cafe, and said diversifying was key to business success in Blenheim.

"We have six children, two sons and a daughter and three businesses. We treat our businesses as a unit and care for our employees like family. I think it's making the difference," Sarah Anderson said.

The couple opened the cafe to create work for their employees in the winter season, when their restaurant and catering businesses were less busy.

"We felt a need for a family cafe in Redwoodtown that mums could walk to and their children could play safely. We are hidden from view a bit and our surroundings are not perfect, but the community enjoy it here and we are very grateful for that," she said.


The cafe serves freshly baked and prepared food, with a french twist to many dishes. Mr Anderson prides himself in good quality food with quality coffee.

To celebrate their birthday they wanted to give something back to the community and decided to host a Pink Ribbon brunch in aid of breast cancer on Saturday, May 31.

The focus of the cafe on weekends would be brunch, so brunch will be served on the day with all proceeds going to the foundation.

"Customers can pay what they would like as a donation, get a ticket and can eat whatever they feel like from the cold or hot buffet. All the money goes into the donation jar, not just the profits, we cover the costs," he said.

The Marlborough Express